Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In collision course with Giants

One thing that I don't like about the increasingly amazing Internet is that it makes it hard to name a new creature. Of course I like to check, when I come up with a name, if that name is already taken, in one or several inappropriate ways... and of course, it usually is. Soon, I think, every utter-able word will be used, if not for some exotic shampoo, then for one of the many life forms of World of Warcraft, or some other MMORPG that I have never even heard of. So far I have not dared to enter into any of these never ending worlds of digital fantasy, but I now hear 'Elder Scrolls 5 – Skyrim' will be released before the end of the year! Remembering how I completely lost myself in 'Oblivion', I already fear the future...

Kotaku.com mentioned and recommended this blog a few days ago, which severely increased the number of visitors for a while. That was very welcome. Thanks, Kotaku! In the aftermaths of that rocket, RPG-Creatures have been mentioned in a few more blogs and forums, in Germany and Brazil, for example. That kind of exposure is very good for my motivation, and makes me push myself even harder when it comes to making new creatures. Here is the Mehrog now! ...and more on the way. : )


TERRAIN: Plains and grasslands
FOOD: Carnivore
SIZE: 7-20 feet long (2-6 m)

CHARM: 13-20
(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)

SPEED: Running x 3
(Multiple is times human speed)

(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

AVERAGE: 9 (+2 for mud)
BODY: 12
HEAD: 10
(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

The Mehrog is well protected by unusually tough hide. On top of that is a shield of pointy hard bone. This is sometimes strengthened further by thick layers of clay and mud, which build up and stick between the plates when the creature rolls around in the soil.

1 CHARGE: 1-6
2 KICKS: 1-6 (+2 when stomping)
1 BITE: 2-6
1 CHARGE: 2-8
(If a Long Sword makes a damage of 1-8)

The Mehrog depend a lot on its sheer size and strength when hunting. It can move fast over short distances, and like to take down its prey by running straight into it. Once the prey is stunned or lying, the creature starts stomping. It never kicks with its hind legs, mostly uses its mouth for eating, and the tail is only applied to fend off rear attackers.

BREATH OF FOG: Inside the huge lungs of the Mehrog an unusual process takes place. Some of the moist in the air is extracted and and collected in special chambers. Once a week this water can be mixed up with the out-breath of the creature to create a fog. When there is no wind a cover slowly builds up, large an dense enough to greatly improve the creature's chances of a surprise attack. When there are many Mehrogs involved, large areas can be covered with fog.

Heavily armoured, the Mehrog can still pick up some speed. It is not clumsy, but far from agile, and it gets tired quickly. It prefers to lie silent, in the long grass, or hidden in the mist. From there it charges and smashes hard into its target. Once the prey is down, the creature rears up on its hind legs and stomps the victim into a mash, before it eats. The teeth of the Mehrog are long and sharp, but its jaws are not very strong.

The creature has a unique structure to its lower legs. A series of jointed bones, that can be locked in and out of position, make its hooves very flexible, and extremely sensitive to vibrations in the ground. Completely blind and deaf, the Mehrog rely exclusively on this sensitivity, and smell, to coordinate group attacks and to make out the direction of possible prey. It can lie down, belly flat on the plain, and still keep its hooves firmly on the ground. This ability gives the Mehrog a quick start, and makes it alert to the surrounding events, even when completely hidden. Toppled over, it is prone to danger, and loses its sense of aim.

The Mehrogs vary a lot in size. They are born at the height of a large dog, and continue to grow during their entire lives. At the age of 40 they can as big as an elephant, and become a true terror to the life forms of the plains. Some animals have come to shun fog like death itself, and run away at the mere sight of it. Others have not gained that wisdom. When large animals are hard to find, the Mehrogs kick down into the earth to pick out the rodents and frogs, easily made out by their sensitive hooves.

Moving around in families of up to 20 creatures, the Mehrogs keep to large but limited hunting areas. They tend to stay close to lakes and water holes, but never venture into the water itself. They like rolling in the mud, but only do so when they are certain of safety. Being deaf they use no vocal sounds, but an occasional burp and hiss can sometimes expose them. The creatures make lousy steeds, but have been occasionally been used as guard beasts.

© Copyright 2011 - Nicholas Cloister

Monday, January 17, 2011

Faeries voice the Will of Nature

A new year, and a new creature. As I write this the year looks uncertain. It may be that I'll be offered a teacher's position in a couple of weeks or so, and it might be that I have to agree to the offer. If that happens RPG-creatures will slow down considerably, for quite some time. Nothing is decided right now, and in any case, this isn't the last creature.

We are entering into the strange realms of elves and faeries this week, and try to retain some of the dangerous and mysterious aspects of the deep woods. I can't bare it when these spiritual powers are reduced into sex icons and ball-dress butterfly beauties of fashion. Busty babes with long ears are almost worse than bare bodied tattooed rock stars with angelic wings. Try to savour the last pieces of dignity in folk-lore and fantasy. Then we can have sex and a party afterwards... Well, perhaps I'm just getting old?... : )


FOOD: Sunlight and water
AGGRESSION: Controlled
SIZE: 10 inches tall (25 cm)

AGILITY: 12-15
CHARM: 13-20
(If stats of a human ranges from 3 to 18)

SPEED: Flying (Eagle x 0,2)
(Multiple is times human speed)

(Ranges from 0-100)

(If a human commoner has about 11 hit points)

(If Full Plate Armour is 10)

The Ni-Oths are thin and delicate constructions without any natural armour to speak of. They rely on magical illusions for their protection.

1 TENTACLE BURN: 1-6 of acidic damage
(If a Long Sword makes a damage of 1-8)

The Ni-Oths are equipped with several burning tentacles and pointy ends to protect them from being captured. These are used for defence only, and they normally affect only one enemy at a time.

VENTRILOQUISM: The Ni-Oths are master ventriloquists. They can mimic any sounds they have ever heard, and make them appear as if coming from any spot within 100 yards from their location. This is a natural magical ability of the Ni-Oths, who may produce such tricks at will, but they cannot distort the natural volume of mimicked sounds into painful levels.

ILLUSORY PROJECTION: The Ni-Oths can project an illusory version of themselves, that may be up to 20 feet (6 m) tall. This illusion lasts for up to five minutes, and may be projected up to 30 feet (10 m) away from the real Ni-Oth. The projected image moves and acts just like the Ni-Oth itself, but has no real body or weight. This power can be used once a day.

Every once in a while, when conditions are right, and a considerable age has been reached, it comes to pass that specific parts of a forest awaken to consciousness. This can happen to a grove, a glade, a pond, or any other special location, that makes itself distinct from the rest of the wood-land. As this occurs the place emanates a sacredness that can be sensed by sensitive minds, and a Ni-Oth is born from the soil among the undergrowth. Initially it grows, attached to the ground, like any other plant. But as it matures, it lets go and takes it first flight under the stars of night.

The Ni-Oth is the voice of the sacred location. It speaks and acts on behalf of the conscious place that raised it. It has no will on its own but is merely an animated tool, or extension, of its parent. Whatever power the Ni-Oth wields is actually the power of the grove, glade, pond, or place itself. If the location is burnt or otherwise destroyed, so is the Ni-Oth.

These creatures can move about at day-time, but normally fly during the night. They hover above the sacred ground and tend to it in secret and mysterious ways. Once in a while they leave their homes to fly slowly through the woods, and communicate silently with other faerie powers. They thus brings back tidings, and are kept alert to the events of the larger forest.

The look and colour of any Ni-Oth may vary substantially, but they all have wing-like leaves and tentacles. An eerie glow surrounds them when they act, and they never fly above the tree-tops. All Ni-Oth can cast spells of illusion, but apart from their natural power of ventriloquism and projection, these vary. The might of these spells depend on the power and size of their home location.

Once it is parted from the ground, the Ni-Oth drinks water through its mouth. It requires sunlight to live, and can last no more than a week without it. The creature has no need of food, and live for as long as the sacred location remains. Desecration, in the form of black magic or blasphemous rites, may kill the Ni-Oth's source of power. If only the Ni-Oth itself is slain, the consciousness of the forest location produces a new Voice. This takes about six months.

Scholars speculate about if these creatures might the first signs of a greater forest consciousness. If so, some ask, would there be more powerful Ni-Oths, or other forms of life, produced to speak for the forest as a whole? Some Ni-Oths know only elven, or similar faerie languages. Others seem able to convey their message in the language known best to the target of communication. Some kind of mind-reading ability is therefore suggested.

© Copyright 2011 - Nicholas Cloister